The other day, Associated Press Congressional reporter Erica Werner tweeted a sweet tweet, quoting Arizona-Senator-slash-Donald-J.-Trump-hater Jeff Flake's response to a question about whether he intends to go to the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland in mid-July.
"'No. I've got to mow my lawn.' -Sen Flake on whether he's attending GOP convention," Werner hunt-and-pecked at 6:06 p.m. on June 27.
"No. I've got to mow my lawn." -Sen Flake on whether he's attending GOP convention.— Erica Werner (@ericawerner) June 27, 2016
Werner's a reporter with bona fides out the bazoo, but she's based in Washington and we're based in Flakelandia, so — deep sigh — it falls to New Times to put down our ice-cold Tecate, do some Internet sleuthing, and look into whether, in fact, Senator Flake's lawn needs a good mowing.
Here, then, is a birds-eye shot of the Flake plot in Mesa:
According to the county assessor, Jeff Flake and his wife Cheryl paid $440,000 for the 4,625-square-foot home on November 30, 1999. The assessor's office values the house at $587,000 for 2017 tax purposes — down from $664,200 in 2016. The real estate website Zillow thinks its market value is $775,688, FWIW. Dunno how many bedrooms it has, but it has — count 'em! — 4.75 bathrooms, per Zillow. And a three-car garage.
The question, though, is: Will Jeff be towing the ol' Toro around the yard two weeks from now?
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Disclaimer: Can we say with 1,000 percent certainty that this lovely home is U.S. Senator Jeff Flake's? No, we cannot. As our daddy used to instruct as he bounced little us on his knee, "In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and property taxes." But the address is within the boundaries of Arizona's Sixth Congressional District that were in place during most of Flake's tenure in the House of Representatives. It even appears to be within the boundaries of the old First Congressional District, which Flake represented in his first term, before being redistricted when Arizona got two new House seats in advance of the 2002 election. It's the only home in Maricopa County purchased in the name of Jeffrey and Cheryl Flake. And it's listed as the Flakes' primary residence.
So, what'll it be: Mow? Or no mow?